Wednesday, 11 March 2015

My Psoriasis Story


This Lush product post/Psoriasis story has been in my mind for a couple of months, even more so since I filmed my February Favourites with the mention of my new favourite shampoo. This post is pretty much dedicated to those who suffer with Psoriasis because I have been suffering with it for 5-6 years, before that I was a sufferer of Eczema and sensitive skin. 

When I first developed Psoriasis it started on my legs and I felt devastated as I was at the start of my University experience which meant a lot of nights out with my legs out. I tried to cover it up with fake tan as feeling self conscious and not looking like the pretty girls I lived with began to take over. I wanted to fit in and have great skin, blonde hair, brown skin and a skinny waist. Obviously fake tan was the wrong way to go but I was looking desperately for a cover up. I decided to seek medical help but it seemed that doctors in my university town of Southampton were clueless to what I had and to how it could be solved. Since learning more about Psoriasis, I am shocked that general day to day doctors didn't realise what I had. This situation went on for 2 years with relying on fake tan as a cover up.

At the beginning of my third year of University, I finally realised that I didn't enjoy 'being like the girls I lived with' and I didn't need to be. The tan and stress of my environment made my skin become worse and worse. Stress was definitely a factor in what was happening to me so I took myself out of any stressful situations me friendships. When my stomach started to slowly develop Psoriasis I realised I needed to take action, I ditched the tan products I was using daily (they weren't good for me and I started to look like a dirty carrot) and dyed my hair back to brunette instead of the lightbulb blonde I had become. 

I managed to keep my Psoriasis under control (ish) for years using unhelpful products from the doctors and sourcing my own through the Internet. It was all going ok until what seemed like overnight I had development 26+ patches of Psoriasis on my stomach and about 10 patches under my hair. Reflecting on how desperate I felt at University, this had nothing on that. I cried most days about how I looked and how my Psoriasis felt. I stopped wearing certain clothes because the tightness or the rubbing of it on my skin made it unbearable. I wore lower knickers, that frankly were the most unflattering and uncomfortable knickers ever, because the top of my normal knickers would irritate my Psoriasis that was on my lower stomach. (That makes it sound like I wore high granny knickers, I didn't, promise!). I'd wear baggy tops and high waisted jeans were a no go. I'd get anxiety over wearing a bikini or a crop top too. Intimacy with boyfriends from day one of Psoriasis caused a problem and I learnt how to avoid getting changed infront of anyone and how to get out of going out for the night if my skin was sore. Most people a year ago wouldn't even be able to tell you that I suffered with Psoriasis because I learnt how to disguise it and how to dress to cover it up.

An embarrassing and real truth of this situation which shows how little I was helped by doctors and how uneducated I was on the subject, is that I would dollop cream onto each Psoriasis patch on my stomach, sides and legs and then cover it with a plaster before I'd get into bed. I believed that rubbing cream into my patches and getting into bed would rub the cream off and that's why I still had Psoriasis. All this went on for a long time, more so when I lived alone as I had the freedom to do this without anyone questioning why I'd covered myself with 50 plasters every evening. I was clutching at straws and thought that soaking my skin in creams would the way forward to solve this. Not only was it not, but I also began to thin my skin with the overuse.

After deciding to take a chance of a doctors surgery in my new town I managed to meet a doctor who saw that the endless creams and lotions weren't working and I needed help that was out of their knowledge. After a couple of appointments with the new doctor, I ended up being referred to a hospital nearby and had 6 weeks of light therapy treatment. My work were supportive and allowed me to be flexible with my working hours so that I could attend my treatment. 3 times a week for 6 weeks I would go to the hospital and stand in what could only be described as a tanning bed. I would stand in there totally naked (which at first was quite awkward and embarrassing for me, even though I was alone) and let the light soak into my skin. The two ladies who did alternative sessions with me were amazing, they supported me and gave me tips and advice for Psoriasis. They even gave me endless shampoo testers I try to control my scalp Psoriasis which sadly enough doesn't soak up any of the UV light.

I felt like the light treatment wasn't working until three quarters of the way through my sessions but by the last couple of sessions I was almost Psoriasis free. I couldn't quite believe that medical sun beds (as liked to call them) managed to cause my Psoriasis to disappear! While also giving my skin a lovely glow (which I miss.)

7 months on from this treatment I am still Psoriasis free. I do have the odd spot on my leg which is under control and my scalp Psoriasis which I am dealing with but every single patch on my stomach, sides and legs has stayed away. I'm so grateful that a doctor finally sent me for specialist treatment and more so that it worked.

My scalp is still getting me down some days, but I've learnt that it isn't the end of the world, which is how I used to feel. I have a shampoo that keeps my scalp manageable and I face the fact that some days I will have a sore and flaky scalp... and those days I just wear white!

The shampoo that is keeping my scalp manageable is one that is very accessible and is on the high street in one of the most loved shops on the Internet... LUSH. I now use Fairly Traded Honey Shampoo by Lush. I've never been into Lush trend that's ongoing and only tried this as I discovered it being mentioned on a Psoriasis forum. Weirdly enough, when I went to buy a small bottle to test it the girl who served me also suffered with scalp Psoriasis and she recommended it to me too. Since trying this shampoo, I haven't looked back. I wash my hair every other day, sometimes everyday if my scalp is craving some help, and the large bottle which costs £24 will last me almost 2 months - which in my opinion is well worth the money!



Fairly Traded Honey may not work for everyone but I'd definitely recommend you try it for a week or two to see. It's been a life saver for me, it really has. I now wouldn't dream of using any other shampoo.


Other products I am loving to nourish my Psoriasis prone/sensitive skin is the Honey I Washed The Kids soap. It has honey as an ingredient (which make sense, considering its name...) which is what made me want to try it, I figured if the honey shampoo works this could too. If I have any itchy areas on my skin they go away when I wash with this soap bar. I don't have any body Psoriasis at this present time but I think if it came back (touch wood it doesn't anytime soon) I would buy this immediately. What I am also loving for my skin is the butterball bath bomb. I've never been keen on baths and would only take one every now and again. Maybe I'm haunted by lotions in my bath as a kid which I had Eczema? Who knows. But the butterball bomb makes me want to bath all day everyday! I actually leave the bathroom with my skin feeling soft and nourished which never happens with ordinary bath products, even for sensitive skin. This is a must have if your skin is super dry and flaky, it makes the water in your bath feel silky and smooth which is lovely, especially when you come out feeling that way too. I love that my two favourite items come in this cute little present package, which makes bathing even more lovely.

I may have bored you to death with my Psoriasis story but I had to rave about these products because they've changed the way I deal with my scalp Psoriasis. 

If it even helps one of you with your Psoriasis or sensitive skin then my work here is done.





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3 comments

  1. Hi Hayley, found your blog when you posted on a psoriasis tips instagram photo. Thanks for sharing your story. I know how annoying and self conscious psoriasis can make someone feel, have had it on and off for the last 10 years. Definitely going to look into the soap you recommended as I have super sensitive skin and find my usual soap I have used for years seems to dry out my skin especially as I am going through my 3rd light treatment. Delighted to hear the light treatment has left your skin clear, it does so for me about 2 years each time. Long may it continue for you, all the best x

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment. Definitely give the soap a try, it cures my itching after one wash! I'm struggling with my scalp psoriasis a lot at the moment so I may give the soap ago in my hair,worth a shot! Glad light treatment works for you too. It's amazing how it works.
      I checked out your Instagram and Im dying to know what makeup products you use to cover your facial psoriasis. The coverage looks great.
      Good luck with the rest of your light treatment.

      H x

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    2. I look forward to trying it. I've only ever gotten a sample of their Dream Cream which did nothing for me so always been wary about trying more of their products. Definitely worth a try on your scalp, hopefully it does help :). Something I use pure coconut oil (can be found in the cooking oil aisle in most supermarkets). I rub it onto my scalp and leave it overnight and wash it out the next day, helps with the scales and the itch. Only downside is it is a bit messy.
      Oh thanks very much, I use Bourjois healthy mix serum foundation and maybelline better skin concealer, though I'm not the best at matching to my skin tone haha. Been trying out Revlon colourstay lately too, the version they have for dry skin and the coverage so far is pretty good.
      Thanks, hope all is well with you x

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